Whether you are an occasional runner or a regular at the gym, you should consider muscle recovery as an essential part of your workout. Recovering correctly will help you feel better, progress effectively (especially after strength training) and avoid injuries.
When you train, you could say that you are physically “breaking” the body: muscle fibers, tissues, etc. It occurs especially when practicing certain types of exercises, such as weightlifting.
Precisely, a study published in the European Journal of Sports Science has shown that exercise affects muscle fibers.
Muscles are made up of numerous fibers, such as ropes, and some of them can break with effort. If we do not provide them with the necessary time to recover, we are training every time on a broken tissue. And the benefits we seek training (speed, agility, strength, or power ) are not only obtained during training but also during the recovery time.
Before continuing the training, it is crucial to give the muscles time to recover. On the contrary, reducing recovery time can cause symptoms of excessive training, such as decreased performance, high blood pressure, lack of sleep, or reduced strength.
Muscle recovery after exercise
There are three fundamental pillars for recovery:
Muscles need protein to rebuild. A diet based on whole foods and rich in antioxidants can help to produce the necessary changes in the body between workouts. In this way, we will be better when the next training arrives.
The quantity and quality of sleep are essential for optimal recovery. Deep sleep is of the utmost importance because it is when the metabolic activity is at its lowest point and when the endocrine system increases the secretion of androgens and growth hormones, essential for muscle repair and the promotion of fat oxidation. Therefore, as explained by the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT), during deep sleep, the body can divert all its attention to growth and repair.
When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes, especially sodium. Exercising while you are dehydrated can cause greater damage to the muscles and reduce the body’s ability to recover.
You can also relax your muscles by performing these methods:
Before training, stretching prepares the muscle to work properly. And after exercise, stretching is useful to eliminate muscle tension and restore relaxation.
Relieving tension in the muscles after a weightlifting session is essential to recover earlier. One of the best ways to do this is to undergo a massage, as it can significantly reduce pain.
To recover muscles properly, some rest day is necessary. In this way, we give the body the required time to move from muscle recovery to muscle reconstruction.